Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Little Steven’s sophomore album from 1984, featuring “Voice of America,” “Solidarity,” “Los Desaparecidos,” and “Among the Believers,” returns to CD in Bob Ludwig’s remaster previously available only on vinyl. The CD edition gets even sweeter with the addition of the full Live at Rockpalast 1984 concert. Voice of America was written, produced, and arranged by Little Steven who got support from The Disciples of Soul (including The Rascals’ Dino Danelli) and guest background vocalist Gary U.S. Bonds. (The edition currently streaming features bonus tracks only on CD as part of Little Steven’s Rock ‘n Roll Rebel box set).
As part of Art Blakey’s centennial celebration, Blue Note unveils a previously unreleased album from Blakey and The Jazz Messengers from 1959 recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio in New Jersey. Just Coolin’ premieres two otherwise-unrecorded songs (“Quick Trick” and “Jimerick”) and features the drummer/leader supported by Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley, Bobby Timmons, and Jymie Merritt. Available on CD and vinyl.
Saxophone great Jimmy Heath passed away earlier this year at the age of 93, but not before completing this stirring new album which features his renditions of songs by Billie Holiday and Dizzy Gillespie, and guest appearances from Wynton Marsalis and Gregory Porter. Available on CD and vinyl.
Marvin Gaye’s 1969 compilation Marvin Gaye and His Girls gets a 2020 makeover on vinyl, complete with a new title, new artwork, and a revised track listing. This iteration adds Diana Ross to the illustrious roster of duet partners already consisting of Kim Weston, Mary Wells, and Tammi Terrell. His Classic Duets has 14 tracks including new additions such as “You’re a Special Part of Me” with Ross, “California Soul” with Terrell, and “The Onion Song” with Terrell.
Anything You Want: The Warner-Reprise-Elektra Years 1975-1996 draws on 17 of the saxophone great’s albums as a leader and showcases his multiple chart hits. The set features guest appearances by Linda Ronstadt, Oleta Adams, Howard Hewett, Nile Rodgers, Luther Vandross, and many others. Read our review here!
Cherry Red’s 7Ts label has a 3-CD salute to singer-songwriter Brian Protheroe containing his albums Pinball, Pick-Up, and I/You plus bonus tracks for each title. Fans of quirky, whimsical pop won’t want to miss this one. Watch this space for our review!
BGO has four albums on two CDs from bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs, originally released between 1970 and 1983, including Nashville’s Rock with his covers of then-contemporary tunes like “Hey Jude” and “Everybody’s Talkin’,” and The Storyteller and The Banjo Man, a collaborative album with Tom T. Hall. Dueling Banjos features original material, and Top of the World features guests Ricky Skaggs and Rodney Dillard.
Also this week from BGO is a three-for-one release on 2 CDs from the Bay Area alt-rock band originally released on Columbia between 1983 and 1985 including In a Chamber, recently reissued in an expanded edition by Supermegabot.
Bob Dylan, Rough and Rowdy Ways (Columbia) [Vinyl]
Bob Dylan’s acclaimed new album, including the recent singles “Murder Most Foul,” “I Contain Multitudes,” and “False Prophet,” arrives on vinyl today after the June 19 CD premiere. Independent record stores will be carrying a gold vinyl variant edition.
Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders’ latest studio album features 10 new songs written by Hynde and guitarist James Walbourne including the singles “The Buzz” and “Hate for Sale.” Available on CD and vinyl.
We wouldn’t want you to miss this rather extraordinary new single from Melissa Manchester. The singer-songwriter has found inspiration from Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali author (and playwright, painter, and composer) from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, for a stirring new choral work. Manchester set Tagore’s stirring words – first printed in 1910 and then adapted by the author into English in 1912 but still relevant to our country today – to an anthemic, original melody featuring vocalists from many backgrounds and disciplines. Thrilling, passionate, and powerful, “Awake!” is available on digital services including YouTube and Amazon.